Country legend Chad Morgan to share a stage with his biggest fans The Johnnys

johnnys chadRock and roll cowpunks The Johnnys are proud to be sharing a stage for two special shows with a true Australian country music legend, Chad Morgan, in April.

The Johnnys will perform with Chad Morgan at the Hardys Bay Club on the NSW Central Coast on Friday, April 5 and Marrickville Bowling Club in Sydney on Saturday, April 6.

Chad Morgan, 86, has been performing to generations of Australian music and comedy fans for more than 50 years. Dubbed “The Sheikh of Scrubby Creek” after one of his most popular songs, Chad released his first album in 1952.

He is renowned for his vaudeville style of comic country and western songs, and goofy stage persona. Chad is the ultimate comic of Australian country music and is instantly recognisable for his unique trademark – those teeth!

A platinum and gold record artist, Chad has an enormous and devoted following and is constantly touring the country, performing songs such as “I’m My Own Grandpa”, “The Shotgun Wedding”, “Double Decker Blowflies” and “There’s Life In The Old Dog Yet”.

Tex Morton once described Chad as the only original country music artist in Australia. Slim Dusty called him the crown prince of comedy. When Gordon Parsons came up with “The Pub With No Beer”, Chad’s the bloke who wrote the words down and contributed a verse of his own.

Chad and The Johnnys go back 30 years. Guitarist Slim Doherty said: “Chad Morgan played a few shows with us in Sydney many moons ago and loved us as we did him.

“He has a cameo in our 'Buzzsaw Baby' film-clip and it is an honour to have shared the screen with this legend. I have an Eko Electric guitar Chad 'signed' with his pocketknife which I still treasure immensely.”

The Johnnys are Slim Doherty, bassist Graham Hood and drummer Billy Pommer Jr and they will be coming fresh off a national you’re with The Beasts. These shows will be a unique pairing and will sell out so don’t delay. Pre-sales tickets are available here.

Ghosts of the fallen honoured as The Beasts take shape

the beasts clip

The Beasts

Croxton Park Hotel, Thornbury, VIC

Saturday, February 23, 2019

I’m pretty sure Spencer Jones is the only member of the Beasts of Bourbon, past or present to have played the Croxton Park Hotel, back in ita heyday. That would have been in 1982, when Spencer was playing guitar in the psychedelic cabaret troupe North 2 Alaskans.

Back in those days The Croxton – ‘the Croc’, to its more familiar patrons – was a bastion of the suburban beer barn circuit. AC/DC played there back in the day, Rose Tattoo, The Angels, Chisel, all the Oz pub rock greats.

The Alaskans didn’t really fit in with the pub rock crowd, but they were as funny as a fit, and damn good musicians too. The Alaskans were, in hindsight at least, a link in the chain that led to the formation of the Beasts of Bourbon.

Hookline and Singer - Kim Salmon (Tym Records)

hookline and singerIt was the moment I knew the relationship was in trouble. It was April, 1993 at Le Rox in Adelaide. Ed Kuepper was headlining, but it was support act Kim Salmon - in solo mode - who was holding our attention. 

Just as Salmon strummed the opening chords to “Words From a Woman To Her Man’”– still, when push comes to shove, one of my two favourite Salmon tunes (the other being its companion piece, “Something to Lean On”), a punter in front of us turned and rebuked my girlfriend for disturbing the aural ambience with her loud commentary.

I knew the relationship was in trouble because I wanted to side with the anonymous interlocutor from the crowd.

Triage - The Gentlemens (Hound Gawd)

triage gentlemensIf proof was needed that Brexit was a dumb idea, consider that this is an Italian band on a German label playing music that owes its origins to the sounds of Africa after they were transplanted to North America.

The letter ’s’ is very important in the band’s name because there’s an outfit calling itself The Gentlemen from Sheffield in the UK that plays disco pop. Disco pop? Never heard ‘em but daresay if none of us ever do, we’ve probably dodged a bullet.

The Gentlemens play noisy punk blues. Really good, noisy punk blues. They’re a trio (two guitars and drums) and they sound huge. The absence of bass is not a problem.

Paolo Fioretti is the sole vocalist (he sings in English) and guitarist who also punches in synth and keyboards. His guitar tone is warm and chunky. Not too much chicken scratching here; the man can play. His amico Giordano Baldoni is no slouch, either. They don’t re-invent the form, they work within it and avoid cliches.

Let's Go Wild! - Kurt Baker Combo (Wicked Cool)

lets go wildTwo thoughts sprang to mind after one spin of "Let's Go Wild!" and both are for sharing: (1.) What a cracking album and; (2.) Let's all move to Spain.

American-born Kurt Baker has done just that, calling Madrid home for about a decade and fronting his own Kurt Baker Combo, based over on the other side of the country in Leon, Spain.

If the fact that "Let's Go Wild!" Is on the Wicked Cool label isn't a clue, the sticker on the cover with the ringing endorsement from Paul Collins should tell you that it's a winner in the power pop stakes. Baker has a great voice, his band powers and the songs are full of fuzzy hooks. 

Penny taking "Tokyo" to Europe

penny jacket shot

Penny Ikinger is heading to Europe for some exclusive shows in France and Spain to promote her latest album "Tokyo" in March 2019. Penny will perform in France with musicians Dimi Dero (drums) and Vinz Guilluy (bass). They will also hit the studio with Jim Diamond (The Dirtbombs) as producer to record a new brand new track. She will perform solo in Basque Country (Spain).

Recorded in Japan, "Tokyo" is Ikinger’s third solo album and is an international collaboration with legendary guitarist and songwriter Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and musicians from the Tokyo psychedelic rock underground. "Tokyo" was released on Kerosene Records (Japan) and Off The Hip Records (Australia) and launched in Tokyo and in Melbourne (at Melbourne Museum’s Nocturnal) by Penny Ikinger with her Japanese band The Silver Bells featuring, Masami Kawaguchi on guitar.

Americana Hero: Alejandro Escovedo's long journey from punk to troubadour

nancy rankin escovedoNancy Rankin-Escovedo photo.

In 2018 Alejandro Escovedo released "The Crossing", an album based on the story of two boys, one Mexican and one Italian, travelling across the United States. “I’ve always lived along the border in California and Texas, so it’s been part of my story,” Escovedo says. But while immigration is fundamental to the evolution of modern America, in recent years it’s has become a hot political topic.

(To accentuate the point, a few hours before my interview with Escovedo, US President Donald Trump invoked emergency powers to secure the funds to continue the building of his border wall between Mexico and the United States.)

Escovedo didn’t set out to write a political album; it’s just that “whenever you talk about immigration at this time it tends to be political because of what’s going on in America”.

Died Pretty's Ron Peno battles cancer

died pretty 2018

Ron Peno, Died Pretty frontman and leader of his own band The Superstitions, has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment in Melbourne.

Died Pretty was scheduled to play festival shows with Bryan Ferry and two gigs of their own in Australia this month. Died Pretty's management announced Ron's diagnosis via their Facebook page:

Died Pretty Management sadly advises that due to ill health all upcoming Died Pretty shows have been cancelled. Ron has been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and will be commencing immediate treatment. Please direct any messages of support via this Facebook page and they will be forwarded to Ron. We know everyone will be hoping for Ron's speedy recovery.

You can send messages to Ron here.

Seminal Robots - Mad Macka and Panh Andler (Swashbuckling Hobo)

mackapanhandlerlpMad Macka's history should need no recounting but, fuck it, let's assume you're entirely clueless or you live outside his native Brisbane.

From the slamming punk of The Onyas to the fast and loose jams of The Egos and back to his recruitment into Cosmic Psychos, he's been a fixture on various levels of the Australian underground for years.

"Seminal Robots" finds him and his Brisbane band Panh Andler in gutter blues territory but don't slip it on and think you're going to hear "Fuckwit City". It's mostly music stripped back to its basic elements. The Big Fella is naked, more or less. 

But "Panh Andler"? Mad Macka's far from uneducated - the man's been a lawyer as well as a pizza deliverer - so you can assume the name is an ironic reference to bluesmen. One of those many online dictionaries describes a "panhandler" as "an urban beggar who typically stands on a street with an outstretched container in hand, begging for loose change". "Buddy can you spare me a recording session?"

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